Dr. Northrup: Okay. And it was—did it come right after you stopped having periods?
Susie: No. It started. It was a precursor. As soon as I had my heart attack, shortly thereafter my hormones went out of whack—went out of whack. I was perimenopausal. My FSH was measured, I believe it was 2005, at 101.
Dr. Northrup: Okay. So you really did go through a premature menopause.
Dr. Northrup: I would work—I would work with a cardiologist who's open to looking at all the data because we have actually dozens and dozens of studies showing that estrogen has a beneficial effect on arteries and that's why, of course, we did the Women's Health Initiative, because there was some evidence that it really helped. Progesterone, natural progesterone, can help coronary arteries. And the research is beginning to be there. So I would talk with your doctor about that. I think there's a lot to—a lot of help you could get. And you could use just a dusting, small little amount. All right?
Susie: That would be wonderful. That would be great. Thank you.
Dr. Northrup: Okay, Susie. Thank you so much. All right. Now we have Heather from Kodiak, Alaska, is on the phone.
Heather: Hi. My question today is I've been on birth control for most of my adult life. Probably the last 20 years, years I've been 15 on the birth control other than the year I was wanting to have kids, and then it was important to get off, so we made a permanent fix if on that, and then I went off a year ago, I'm 39, and I've started getting gray hair, it's harder to keep the weight off, and I didn't know if my body having all of that extra estrogen for so many years, did I kind of put myself on the fast track to aging by coming off it?
Dr. Northrup: No. Absolutely not. Absolutely not. And, by the way, all birth control pills are synthetic hormones. They're not native to the female body. And, having said that, a lot of women love The Pill and they do beautifully on it. And it worked well for you, right?
Heather: It did. And it was great. I just—I was concerned that having been on it for so long that, you know, I was getting off it thinking that would be the healthier thing to do. And then I went off it and I started going through all these aging things, and I thought, "Is that just coincidence because it's my age? Or did I accelerate that process?"
Dr. Northrup: You did not accelerate that process. But I will tell you this. At about 39 and so on, this is when all your health habits catch up with you. So this is when you really want to pay attention, clean up your diet, exercise, take a good multivitamin, get your vitamin D checked, make sure you're getting enough calcium, enough rest. Meditation helps. And clean up every area of your life. Clutter in all areas—whether it's in your home, in your relationships, in your job—your body doesn't let you get away with anything anymore after about the age of 39. So—but it's not The Pill. So thanks, Heather.
Heather: Thank you.
Dr. Northrup: Okay. A lot of people are asking what's the best way to get your hormones tested? Blood? Saliva? This is a brave new world. The truth is that most people, most doctors prefer serum. That's blood. There is a place for the salivary hormones because the saliva hormones actually will tell you a little bit more, particularly in the case of progesterone, what's in your tissue. It's not so much what's in your blood. It's what's in your—in the tissues of your body. But right now the jury is out. And most conventionally trained doctors would prefer to treat your symptoms and try some things. That's the art of medicine. You know on the show today we showed Dr. Prudence Hall and her clinic, and I do love the way she presents the different hormone levels. But every lab is different. Every healthcare practitioner interprets them differently. The actual best way to tell is your body and—and your symptoms and how you're feeling. So if you go to a healthcare practitioner, like a nurse practitioner, who works well with salivary hormone levels, is good at it, does it all the time, by all means do that. Same with blood levels. But remember, we're at the beginning of something that is not well researched, often not well accepted, but Oprah is ahead of the curve. She has been for years and years and years, and I believe this is the wave of the future. So you might just get a profile done, and then you'll have it. All right. We've got Beverly from Cedar Park, Texas, on the phone.
Beverly: Hi, Dr. Northrup, I appreciate your talking with me. I've been listening to Oprah's shows the last couple of weeks, and I haven't heard anything about someone who's had a hysterectomy.
Dr. Northrup: Oh, you mean like what you should do if you've had a hysterectomy?
Beverly: Yeah, if all this that you're telling, does that apply to someone who's had a complete hysterectomy? Ovaries, everything is gone seven years ago.
Dr. Northrup: Absolutely. Absolutely. I'm so glad you brought this up.
Beverly: I'm 54 years old, but I feel like the lady that was from Canada on the show a couple of times.
Dr. Northrup: Absolutely. Any woman who has her uterus out and her ovaries out goes through an instant menopause.
Beverly: Oh, it's been horrible.
Dr. Northrup: It's not a normal menopause at all. Your body has no time to make the conversions from the adrenals and the ovaries and to adjust your hormone levels. You, of all people, could use some hormone balancing and some hormonal support. It's like you're going 80 miles an hour on a highway and someone slams on the brakes hormonally. It's not right.
Beverly: I don't feel like a person. I just go through the motions.
Dr. Northrup: That's right. You, of all people, really could use some help in this area, so go to someone who really understands this. And remember you can get the hormones you need at any pharmacy. So thank you, Beverly. I'm really glad you brought this up.
Beverly: We have an excellent compounding pharmacy in Austin, Texas, a people's pharmacy, should they have a listing of good doctors?
Dr. Northrup: They often do. A good compounding pharmacy will have a listing of doctors with whom you can work. Absolutely.
Beverly: That was my other question. How do you find a doctor who will listen to you?